Thursday, December 29, 2011
Michigan tax credits for charitable gifts will expire at the end of 2011. The state has provided tax credits of 50% of amounts given to Michigan charities of three types: homeless shelters and food banks; public institutions such as universities, libraries, public broadcast entites and the Detroit Institute of Arts; and community foundations such as the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. Credits are limited to $100 for an individual or $200 for a couple, for gifts to each of the three categories (total credits of $300 or $600) Charities report a disproportionate share of donations in $200 increments, and they fear the end of the credits will mean a loss of donations in 2012. The actual effect on charitable giving is hard to predict, and the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University has announced that it will study the effects of the change. Even if their overall charitable giving does not decrease, some taxpayers may have been influenced by the credits to focus their giving on Michigan charities. For now, charities are trying to get the word out that gifts should be made before the end of the year to take advantange of the credits. See the story in the Detroit Free Press.